New tasting room, empty storefront, promotions and more

New tasting room: Sosie Wines is moving into Vine Alley on the Plaza (Sonoma Court Shops) into the former Passaggio spot. The French-inspired family-owned wine label is run by Scott and Regina MacFiggen. They make their wines at Sugarloaf Custom Crush and this will be their first dedicated tasting room. They expect to be open Thursday through Monday starting later this month.

Sonoma Media news: Veteran journalist Richard A. Green has been hired as the new executive editor of The Press Democrat and chief content officer for Sonoma Media Investments, the parent company of the Index-Tribune. Green succeeds Cathy Barnett who retired in December after a 44-year career.

Empty Plaza storefront: Sotheby’s real estate has several offices around downtown Sonoma, but the real estate company had given up its Plaza storefront at the entrance to Vine Alley, aka the Sonoma Court Shops. Agents and office staff still occupy some space in the back but the Napa Street-facing space is now vacant.

Glen Ellen project update: The big renovation/rebuild project in downtown Glen Ellen at 13647 Arnold Drive nears completion. Owner Steven and Holly Sorkin said they hope to have the eight apartments ready this month, and the commercial spaces for McCormick Mercantile and the Garden Court Cafe ready not long after.

New winemaker: Mark Beaman has been named the head winemaker at Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery. Beaman has two decades of experience at wineries that include Valley of the Moon in Glen Ellen and Columbia Crest Winery in Walla Walla, Washington. Sebastiani is now owned by Foley Family Wines.

Jewelry popup: Across from Tiddle E Winks, the old Scott Lyall men’s clothing store space now has a pop-up jewelry display by Emily Detert of EKD featuring “handcrafted beaded bracelets.” Learn more on Instagram at emily_ekd.

New brow spot: Shariyah Scalise opened Proud Brow inside the Arches salon at 18995 Sonoma Highway mid-pandemic. Scalise is a certified “phibrows artist,” offering microblading, lip blush, plasma lift/fibroblast skin tightening services and more.

Moose Lodge: Previously organized as two distinct clubs, the women’s and men’s Moose Lodge organizations nationwide merged this year. Membership to the Sonoma Lodge is now $80 per year and open to all. Learn more at

Innovators: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is offering a $10,000 prize to whoever can come up with a cheap way to clean indoor air. The winning technologies need to reduce particulate matter (think wildfire smoke) in a room by 80 percent in an hour. Enter the contest at

Six Flags: Six Flags is preparing to reopen all of its theme parks and water parks. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo is currently open on weekends with walk-through activities but no rides. The park is preparing to reopen more fully ― possibly in April ― but has not yet announced a timeline.

New nearby pet hospital: Veterinarian Sam Tucker has opened TruVet Specialty & Emergency Hospital in Petaluma. The 6,300-square-foot animal hospital, on Lakeville Highway at Casa Grande Road, is staffed with internal medicine specialists and surgeons. While the center receives pet patients only between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., it is staffed to care for animals 24/7.

Immunity nights: Two professors at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine suggested in a recent Washington Post op-ed that local lawmakers should allow COVID-19 “immunity nights” or designated days or times for businesses to accommodate immune customers at a higher capacity. They cite that 17 percent of U.S. adults have received at least one vaccine dose.

Oakmont: Steve Spanier resigned as president of the Oakmont Village Association board in November. The board recently voted to elevate vice president Tom Kendrick to the presidency. Kendrick, 71, is a retired executive of Hewlett-Packard in the Silicon Valley.

Executive Director Maureen Cottingham at the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers meeting in 2017. (Photo by Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune)
Executive Director Maureen Cottingham at the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers meeting in 2017. (Photo by Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune)

Vintners departure: Maureen Cottingham is stepping down as executive director of Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance after nearly 17 years. Cottingham will step into a new leadership role managing her family’s farming operation. She will help with the search for her replacement before departing April 2021.

Anniversary: Last week marked the 30th anniversary of Anne Appleman Flowers and Plants. Appleman started her design studio out of the back of a 1954 Chevy Suburban and since then has been featured in magazines, a Restoration Hardware TV Christmas special and hundreds of weddings.

Omar Percich.
Omar Percich.

Promotion: Current Don Sebastiani & Sons COO Omar Percich has been promoted to CEO. Donny Sebastiani will continue to serve as president. Percich joined the company in 2017.

Sosie Wines.
Sosie Wines.

Doing good: The women’s networking group Polka Dot Powerhouse (PDP) Sonoma chapter is going to do a community service day on Saturday March 13. Members are going to pick up trash on their block or street and post a picture of them “in the act” to the group’s Facebook page. Everyone is welcome to join in, and PDP Sonoma is welcoming new members. Learn more at

Open now: El Dorado Cantina, a new takeout concept featuring the Mexican specialties of Chef Armando of EDK, opened on March 4 on W. Spain St.

Contact Lorna at

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